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May 21, 2024

How Do We Stop The Violence?

How Do We Stop The Violence?

More and more youngsters are succumbing to drugs, depression and horrendous acts of violence. What has brought about the crisis our young generation is facing? Kabbalah explains that it’s their desire that’s in crisis, as they can no longer fulfill it with what we try to give them

As I go to read the news online, the headlines hit me once again. A 20 year old stepped into a school and opened fire, killing 28 people, 20 children, 6 teachers, his own mother earlier and himself. What could lead a young person with a bright future ahead of him to commit such a desperate act? Meanwhile, a dear friend’s niece clings to life in a hospital after swallowing a bottle of pills in a suicide attempt. Depression among teenagers has reached epidemic proportions.

What is happening to our youth? Shouldn’t teens be too young to be overwhelmed by feelings of despair and hopelessness? There are many countries in the world where despair would be understandable – countries where unbelievable hardship, poverty, starvation and violence are the daily reality. But this is the United States – many of these kids come from affluent, loving homes where they have every advantage that money can buy. 

At the other end of the spectrum, we see a growing number of people who are stuck in childhood – even into their 20s, 30s and beyond. They might trade in their Hot Wheels toy cars for the real thing and get involved in more expensive “games,” but they are still children who rebel against assuming any type of responsibility in the adult world. We see the impact in areas as diverse as the breakdown of American families, the record number of bankruptcy filings, and the trouble businesses are having hiring responsible, mature workers.

Although it’s hard to admit, both youth and adults are facing a social crisis, and no one seems to quite know why. Talk show hosts have become millionaires by expounding on these problems and interviewing “experts.” Politicians push their proposed social reform programs, and communities pass more and more laws in an effort to control behavior, but these are all knee-jerk reactions to the problem. In order to affect real change, we must find the source of the problem.

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains the roots of today’s increasing social discord, showing a common thread behind all the unpleasant phenomena that we are witnessing.

Identifying the Source

In order to identify the reason behind our youth’s behavior, we first have to examine our very nature and see how it evolves. Kabbalah maintains that the motivating force behind all of our actions is our desire to receive pleasure. In other words, every action that a person takes, no matter how small, is prompted by some desire for some pleasure.

But there’s more: This desire for pleasure continuously evolves within humanity, propelling us to constantly seek new kinds of pleasures. This evolution started with our most basic desires: those we must fulfill to survive, such as desires for food, sex and shelter. In other words, ages ago, having a good meal and a roof over one’s head was the ultimate bliss.

At a later point in humanity’s evolution, new kinds of desires emerged – social desires. These desires emerge due to the fact that people interact within society, and they include desires for wealth, fame and power. We have evolved through these social desires for thousands of years, actualizing every possible combination and aspect of them. From this perspective, film stars, sports idols or politicians are all “manifestations” of the social desires that evolve within humanity.

But today, Kabbalists explain, a new kind of desire is emerging within humanity, one that we can neither fulfill through our bodies nor through other interactions with each other. This desire is still hard for us to define, and we don’t really know how to fulfill it – it is the desire to realize the purpose of our existence.

While there have always been individuals in every generation who wondered, “Why am I here?” now is the first time in history that this question is awakening in masses of people, and demanding to be answered.

The Price of Dissatisfaction

So how does this relate to the crisis our younger generation is facing? Because they are at the peak of the evolution of desires, they inherently sense that money, fame and power will not lead them to true happiness. This doesn’t mean that the kids of today have no desire for anything; on the contrary, they have a huge desire: they just don’t know how to satisfy it.

It’s quite simple: If I really want a puppy for my birthday, I’m not going to be happy if you give me a new set of clothes. Even if the clothes look really nice on me, they simply won’t match the desire I have within me. For our youth, it’s like that with any kind of pleasure. They go from one desire to the next at lightening speed, and continue to find themselves unsatisfied.

By the time they are teens, many children are disillusioned and cynical about their parents’ ability to show them how to be happy. They don’t see why they should work hard to achieve the goals that adults set for them. On the other hand, they don’t know what else to strive for. To us, it may look like today’s kids are lazy, but their lack of motivation is really an expression of hopelessness. In extreme cases, their despair is so painful that life itself seems pointless and suicide seems to be the only answer.

To cope, many teenagers adopt a “Life is short; eat dessert first” attitude, spending their time chasing after any pleasure, as long as it is easy to obtain. The result is the “perpetual child,” unable to maintain a family or work relationship once it requires real effort. These kids are also vulnerable to the appeal of drugs, alcohol, and get-rich-quick schemes, since all of these promise intense pleasure for virtually no effort.

Other teens react to their sense of emptiness with anger, lashing out at parents and a society that have been unable to provide them with a meaningful purpose for their lives. Often their very upbringing has been so distorted by the current competitive materialistic society that today we are raising more and more youth with mental illnesses and disorders, who live their lives shifting between depression, fear, anxiety and anger… and sometimes this anger erupts in horrendous violence, such as with the Newtown school shooting.

Answering Their Needs

The younger generation’s inability to understand and fulfill their desires is the very source of their problems. Without guidance from previous generations, teens are groping in the dark as they try to find ways to satisfy this nameless desire within them.

In order to help our children, we must let them know that there is a reason for the emptiness and confusion that they feel. We need to show them where they fit into humanity’s general course of development – and let them see that they represent the final phase in the evolution of desires. And we have to provide them with a way to develop and fulfill their desires.

Kabbalah can help us provide such guidance by giving youth a tangible understanding of the purpose of their existence. And once our children know what their purpose is, they will be motivated to go after it. Apathy, anger, depression and despair will give way to the same passionate energy toward this purpose with which their parents and grandparents pursued the “American dream” – the quest for money, honor and fame.

Our children will be able to go places and achieve states of unbounded happiness, but we must provide them with the tools and guidance for their journey. By so doing, we will save them a lot of misery, allow them to find true happiness, and hasten everyone’s way towards the true purpose of existence.

–by Riggan Shilstone.

  

12 Comments »

  Roshie kohan wrote @ April 2nd, 2013 at 1:08 am

Thank you,
I have a teenager , help me teach her way to meaning of kabbalah ,
I am helping a orphanage , I am taking her to visit the kids in the orphanage , she is making a video for our fundraising event on these kids , is this good for her to feel helpful and kind?
Please help me to help my teenager daughter to see the world .
Thank you
Roshie kohan

  Joan Singer Makuch wrote @ February 10th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I agree, but it’s not just the young kids, it’s also the rest of the population. Especially seniors who are retired and don’t feel useful or wanted.

  Ana Maria Charlier Madeira (Hannah) wrote @ January 28th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

As a teacher I see this disturbing behaviour of young people daily. I fully agree with the article. We need spread the idea of kabbalah among everybody.

  Ana Maria Charlier Madeira (Hannah) wrote @ January 28th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I agree with this article fully. I am a teacher and I see this confusion everyday.

  abbey wrote @ January 28th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

This makes total sense to me, but how to get them to see that there is a way. If they are in rebel state already it is like leading a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. How can we make fullfillment intriging to catch their desires.

  Marthajoy Aft wrote @ December 22nd, 2012 at 10:46 pm

It seems to me that our children are seeking G*d’s presence, but they aren’t aware of this desire. They don’t know how to access G*d’s love, and need the tools and guidance that Kabbalah can offer. But since their parents and teachers by and large are unaware of these possibilities, it is incumbent on all who can possibly reach out to today’s youth to help them to greater awarenesses: You are loved. G*d created you. All of us are created by G*d. We each have a higher purpose for our existence. We can find it together. Our traditions can bring us all joy.

  Ludmilla wrote @ December 18th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

The wisdom of Kabbalah is the only way to keep humanity from collapsing. Our generation needs this wisdom now, more than ever before.

  Osvaldo Pérez wrote @ December 18th, 2012 at 11:21 am

This article is perfect for this moment of despair of those families involved in a so terrible event. It also ilustrate the real situation to all the ones impacted by it. Hope many be able to read it. Thanks.

  Linda Best wrote @ December 18th, 2012 at 10:45 am

Thank you so much for the depth of your insight. In pondering these questions, the best I could summarize was that the root cause was a need for understanding the purpose of values.
The value of achieving oneness with each other and God through selflessness, is what I perceive to be the goal. Is this correct? Does Kaballah help us to implement the steps toward this goal?

  Esther wrote @ December 18th, 2012 at 6:24 am

I am not entirely surprised by the number of suicide among teens and other generations. I think that most people rely only on goods to bring them happiness. What they didn’t know is that will never bring any true and long lasting happiness. Only G-d can.

  Jim Jordan wrote @ December 17th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

This has to be the clearest and most accessible presentation of why horrible acts of random violence like the Newtown School shootings as well as the globally escalating epidemics of depression, drug/alcohol abuse, gratuitous violence, teen suicide and a host of other ‘social problems’ are expanding at such a rapid rate.

That the rapid growth and development of the ego through the evolution of mankind has generated as a ‘by product’ or ‘side effect’, extremely strong Desires without any of the traditional avenues of satisfaction, that in turn spawn what seem like ‘unanswerable questions’ and, potentially, a very destructive level of global anxiety and confusion, seems very frightening.

Fortunately, the wisdom of Kabbalah answers the seemingly ‘unanswerable questions’ and provides a context for the fulfillment of these new Desires. An important first step is introducing ‘Integral Education’ into the curriculum of every kindergarten immediately!

  Cheryl Robbins wrote @ December 16th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Now that humanity has come to this point, psycho active pharmaceuticals are routinely used ,especially prevalent in the USA. These drugs have been prescribed at one time or another by every shooter in these mass murder incidents. It is known that in many persons, these drugs have an effect that blunts normal emotional response, enabling dehumanizing behavior. When society as a whole functions as a loving family, use of pharmaceuticals will dwindle.

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